A single mother from Kentucky was scammed into money after she was fooled into thinking she was in a secret online relationship with Australian actor Dacre Montgomery, the actor who played Billy Hargrove in the Netflix hit series, Stranger Things.
In a series called Catfished, a YouTube channel dedicated to shedding light on intricate scams on the internet, McKayla, an amateur filmmaker, explained that she met her mysterious lover after she separated from her husband and joined an artist-dedicated forum.
After some exchanges, she came to believe that the person she was talking to was Dacre, one of her favorite actors. They started to "hit it off," leading McKayla to divorce her now ex-husband whom she described in the video as "very toxic."
"I’m suspicious from the get-go until he starts doing things that make me believe he is who he is," she told Catfished.
The real-life Dacre has been in a relationship with his model girlfriend Liv Pollock for six years, but the person she was speaking with claimed they were unhappy.
"He was venting to me after a few months about his partner, saying she is very controlling of him. He doesn't get to do the things he wants to do. She's always there. She's always got to supervise," she recalled. "I kind of empathize with that because my ex-husband was that way."
Over a year, the two never saw each other in person, but the stranger asked McKayla to be his girlfriend and requested to keep it a secret. The person she was speaking with claimed that he had broken up with Liv six months before, but they were technically still together to keep up with appearances.
"He was like, 'But you gotta keep it quiet because, you know, I'm still with Liv,'" she explained.
She even looked at the couple's social media accounts and noticed that there were no love photos shared at the time.
"He wasn't posting about her. She wasn't posting about him. The only thing that I have seen in the last two years...was a thing where she was posting about their five-year anniversary," she said.
"Dacre" even gave McKayla an ultimatum, asking her to choose between him or her husband.
"I said, 'Look, there's no competition. You treat me better,'" she said. McKayla then divorced her husband and waited for "Dacre" to leave his girlfriend.
Asked what made her believe he was real, McKayla said "Dacre" would send her poems like the ones in the actor's book of poetry, DKMH: Poems by Dacre Montgomery.
Moreover, McKayla estimated that she also sent him about $10,000 or more than half a million pesos in gift cards, as the stranger said he need the money because his girlfriend was controlling his finances.
In an investigation conducted by Catfished team, there was no proof that Dacre and Liv were no longer together as they frequently appeared together in interviews and on the red carpet. They also discovered that the actor earns $150,000 (P8.4 million) every episode of Stranger Things so there are no such reasons Dacre is asking for that amount of money.
Further investigation revealed that the check that 'Dacre' had sent to McKayla was forged and matched hundreds of checks online with the same signature.
McKayla was saddened about the unfortunate truth after learning she was catfished and personally admitted that her past trauma made her do such a thing.
"Love makes you do crazy, stupid, irrational things," she told Catfished.
'If you're someone like me, you're afraid of abandonment and you're a real big people pleaser and you're very co-dependent... These scammers, they just kind of come in and they leech off that,' she added.